Farley - Panto - Parau Track Loop
Head to carpark at Huia Dam Road.
Go through gate straight ahead until you come to a swing bridge on your right. Once across the bridge we started on the Parau Track which is fairly flat track with a slight incline.
After about 5 minutes you’ll come to a junction with the Parau Track continuing on the left and the Farley Track starting straight ahead.
We continue straight ahead on the Farley Track. After a few bends this track goes alongside a lovely babbling stream with plentiful surrounding Parataniwha and there's also has a couple of wee waterfalls too. You’ll also cross his wee stream about 3 times too on wooden bridges. Afterwards the track leaves the stream and inclines on a fairly even gradient.
As you gain a bit of height you get occasion views of the bays below. Once you get up the top you’ll pass the junction on your left for the Kakamatua Ridge Track. We continue on the Farley Tk, which starts to slope downwards and then into dense bush with plenty of canopy and a couple of stream crossings . Track is quite pleasant at this level with plenty of mud, moss, nikaus and ferns (amongst plenty of other stuff).
We encounter a stream with a wee waterfall and with a bit of a clearing next to it just around morning tea time which worked out perfectly. Refuelled we continued on and the track headed upwards again and also started to notice plenty of Pate (not the stuff you dip crackers in , the plant). After a steady and rocky (in places) incline we arrived at the junction (approx 1 ¾ hours from starting it) for the Panto Track on the left and the Farley track continuing straight ahead towards the carpark.
We headed left on the The Panto track which heads steadily upwards amongst dense Kanuka Trees and a few cool looking Pungas. At the top it flattens out where the bush thins out a bit & there are quite a few pine trees about. There is also a bit of a clearing where it feels like a meeting place for bush people to gather for some sort of ritual jig. You can also walk right to the edge of the cliff and look out over how high you have climbed and of Big Muddy Creek.
The track continues fairly flat. After about an hour from starting the Panto the track ends at a T junction of the Parau Track going both left and right. Right heads towards Parau & left is towards Huia, we head left. After another 5 minutes or so we pass by another junction on the right for the Nihotupu ridge Track, we continue along the Parau Tk. Before you know it, this track is heading down steadily and a tad steep at parts (and with a few trees to climb over and under).
At the bottom there is a stream crossing, them remembering the down up rule, after the stream the track heads steadily up again, back to the height you started from on the other side. Once at the top, the track is fairly flatish, but has plenty of mud and few obstacles (ie: big logs to climb over and trees to duck under) adding to the fun. After a while the track starts heading down, soon we hear noise of the stream and our tummies are rumbling.
The stream had a bridge crossing and also a track down the side of it, as I gather it must be a bit of a popular spot. We headed up the stream slightly and settled to a nice green mossy spot right next to the peaceful stream and soaking in the sound of the water making its way through the rocks. After a terrific lunch, full of beans we bounded along the fairly flatish track and barely noticed the incline.
After about 20 minutes or so we passed the junction to the left for the Nihotupu Ridge Track and about 5 minutes later we passed the Kakamatua Ridge Track on our left. We then noticed the track heading downwards at a steady gradual gradient. After a while the track became a more of a pathway . Towards the end we encounter the junction for the Farley track on the left and meet up at the part of the Parau Track that we started on and back tracked back across the swing bridge. About 5 3/4 hours we completed the Parau Track from where we started it.
Level of Difficulty
Total Loop Time
5.75 hours (Spring 2011)